What Does Pink Carnation Symbolize? Uncovering the Meaning Behind the Fragrant Bloom

Pink carnations have been a symbol of love, admiration, and gratitude for centuries. These flowers have captivated the hearts and minds of people around the world and have inspired many poets, writers, and artists. But what is it about pink carnations that makes them so special? Why are they such a beloved flower among so many cultures? In this article, we’ll explore the history and meaning of pink carnations and discover why they hold such a special place in our hearts.

For many people, pink carnations symbolize a deep and abiding love. This is why they are often given as gifts on Valentine’s Day or as a token of affection to a loved one. However, pink carnations are also associated with admiration and respect, making them a popular flower to give to someone who has achieved something great or accomplished a significant milestone. Pink carnations are also associated with Mother’s Day, as they represent a mother’s undying love and devotion to her children.

The history of pink carnations is steeped in legend and mythology. According to one story, the pink carnation was created by the tears of the Virgin Mary as she watched Jesus carry the cross to his crucifixion. Another tale has it that the pink carnation was formed from the blood of Zeus when he wounded himself with a thunderbolt. Regardless of the story, it’s clear that pink carnations have a rich symbolic history and are deeply ingrained in our culture. So the next time you see a bouquet of pink carnations, take a moment to appreciate the beauty and meaning behind these beloved flowers.

History of the Pink Carnation Symbolism

The pink carnation, scientifically known as Dianthus Caryophyllus, holds a significant meaning in different cultures and traditions worldwide. The flower’s symbolism dates back to ancient times, where it has been mentioned in various myths, legends, and historical records.

One of the earliest references to the pink carnation symbolism traces back to Greek mythology. According to the legend, the carnation flower appeared when the Goddess Zeus had a fit of rage and tears after the death of her son, Adonis. The drops of her tears fell on the earth and turned into vibrant pink carnations, symbolizing the mother’s eternal love for her child.

The pink carnation’s symbolism also has significant roots in Christianity. According to the Bible, the flower emerged from Mary’s tears after witnessing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The flower’s pink color represents the mother’s undying love and fidelity to her son’s memory.

  • The pink carnation’s association with Mother’s Day:
  • The pink carnation became a symbol of Mother’s Day due to the efforts of Anna Jarvis, an American social activist who campaigned for the holiday’s establishment. She believed that the pink carnation represented the mother’s unselfish love and tenderness, similar to the qualities of a mother’s love for her child.
  • The flower’s association with the suffrage movement:
  • In the early 1900s, the pink carnation became a symbol of the women’s suffrage movement in the United States. The movement’s leaders chose the flower because of its subtle yet powerful message, representing the persistence and determination of women in fighting for their rights and equality.

The Pink Carnation’s symbolism also varies in different cultures worldwide, where it is associated with love, gratitude, and admiration. In Japan, the pink carnation is a symbol of a mother’s undying love and affection for her child. In Italy, the flower represents a sign of good luck and prosperity, while in France, it represents the country’s national emblem and symbolizes honor and celebration.

The pink carnation has also become a beloved choice for bouquets and gifts, especially on occasions like weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries. The flowers represent a message of love and admiration, making them perfect for expressing one’s emotions and sentiments towards their loved ones.

The pink carnation’s symbolism has a rich history that has evolved over time, influenced by different cultures, traditions, and beliefs. The flower’s timeless message of love, affection, and gratitude continues to be cherished by people worldwide, making it a beloved choice for various occasions and celebrations.

Religious significance of pink carnation

The pink carnation has long been associated with religious significance, dating back to ancient times. Here are some of the religious meanings that the pink carnation holds:

  • In Christianity, the pink carnation is believed to symbolize the love and devotion of Virgin Mary. Legend has it that when Mary wept at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, her tears fell on the ground and sprouted into pink carnations. Thus, the flowers hold a special place in the hearts of Catholics, who display pink carnations at the shrine of Virgin Mary and on Mother’s Day to honor her.
  • The pink carnation is also mentioned in the Quran as a symbol of eternal love and loyalty. It is believed that Prophet Muhammad was approached by an admirer who sent him a gift of pink carnations, which the Prophet accepted and appreciated. The flower has since become a symbol of kindness and devotion in Islam.
  • In Hinduism, the pink carnation is considered a sacred flower that is offered to Lord Shiva and Goddess Kaali. It is believed that the flower can ward off evil energies and grant spiritual protection to those who carry it.

The religious significance of the pink carnation varies across cultures and religions. However, it remains a symbol of love, devotion, and spiritual significance throughout history.


Catholic Onlinehttps://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=19
The Quranhttps://www.al-islam.org/al-tawhid/vol13-no1/muhammad-amir-jumean/pink-carnation-and-its-symbolism
Hinduism Factshttps://www.hinduismfacts.org/hinduism-flowers-the-around-religious-significance/

Mythology and Pink Carnation

Pink carnations have been referenced in myths and legends for centuries, with various meanings assigned to the flower depending on the culture and time period. Here are a few examples:

  • In Greek mythology, the pink carnation was said to have sprouted from the tears of the Virgin Mary as she wept for Jesus at the crucifixion.
  • Another tale tells the story of a young couple, Dianthus and Antheia, who fell in love but were separated by the gods. Dianthus pined away for Antheia and eventually turned into the flower we now know as the pink carnation.
  • During the Victorian era, the pink carnation was a symbol of a mother’s undying love, and it was often included in bouquets for Mother’s Day.

These stories show the enduring significance and symbolism of the pink carnation throughout history. It’s interesting to note the various meanings assigned to the flower – from romantic love to maternal love to religious devotion.

But what about today? What does the pink carnation symbolize for us now?

Interestingly, in modern times the pink carnation is most commonly associated with breast cancer awareness. The flower has become a symbol of hope and support for those affected by the disease, with pink carnations often given as gifts or worn as a symbol of solidarity.

Pink Carnation Meanings
Love and AffectionPink carnations are often given as a romantic gift to show love and affection to a partner or significant other.
Mother’s LoveAs mentioned earlier, pink carnations were traditionally associated with motherly love and were often included in bouquets for Mother’s Day.
GratitudePink carnations can also be a symbol of gratitude, making them a popular choice for thank-you gifts or as a way to show appreciation.
Breast Cancer AwarenessToday, pink carnations are perhaps most commonly associated with breast cancer awareness and are a symbol of hope and support for those affected by the disease.

So whether you’re celebrating a romantic occasion or showing support for a loved one facing a difficult time, the pink carnation has a rich history of symbolism that can help you convey your feelings in a meaningful way.

Cultural significance of pink carnation worldwide

The pink carnation is not only a popular flower choice for bouquets and gardens, but it also carries cultural significance in numerous countries around the world. Here are some examples of how this flower is viewed in different cultures:

  • United States: Pink carnations are often associated with Mother’s Day and are given as a symbol of love and appreciation to mothers. They’re also used as a symbol of breast cancer awareness.
  • France: The pink carnation is associated with France’s national Mother’s Day celebration, where children traditionally offer the flower to their mothers. It’s also a symbol of romance and is used in bridal bouquets.
  • Japan: In Japan, the pink carnation is called “sakura” and is a symbol of young love and affection. It’s often given as a gift to someone special or used in wedding decorations.

In addition to these cultural associations, the pink carnation also has a rich history and symbolism. In Christian tradition, it’s said that the pink carnation bloomed from Mary’s tears as she watched Jesus carry the cross, making it a symbol of a mother’s undying love.

Below is a table showing the meanings associated with different colored carnations:

PinkMother’s love, gratitude, admiration, femininity, romance
RedLove, admiration, affection
WhitePurity, good luck, innocence, remembrance
PurpleCapriciousness, unpredictability, whimsy
YellowRejection, disappointment, dejection

No matter the cultural significance or symbolism, the pink carnation is undoubtedly a beautiful and meaningful flower choice for any occasion.

Meaning of different shades of pink carnation

It is no secret that carnations of different colors symbolize different emotions and meanings. The same goes for the beautiful pink carnation – the hue of pink also represents various emotions and feelings. Let us explore the meanings of different shades of pink carnation:

  • Light Pink Carnation: This shade of pink represents admiration, gratitude, and motherly love. It is often gifted to mothers on special occasions like Mother’s Day.
  • Medium Pink Carnation: This shade symbolizes love, romance, and appreciation. A medium pink carnation can be gifted to show affection and appreciation to a romantic partner.
  • Dark Pink Carnation: Dark pink carnations represent deep love, appreciation, and thankfulness. It is commonly gifted to show gratitude and admiration towards a loved one.
  • Hot Pink Carnation: This vibrant hue represents youthful exuberance, passion, and excitement. It can be gifted to bring positivity and cheerfulness in someone’s life.
  • Pale Pink Carnation: This light shade of pink represents gentleness, femininity, and grace. It is often gifted to show support and care towards a friend or family member.

Now that we have understood the meaning of different shades of pink carnation, it is worth noting that these meanings may differ based on the cultural context. It is always wise to research the traditions and beliefs of the recipient’s culture before gifting a bouquet of pink carnations.

Pink Carnation in Literature and Poetry

Throughout history, the pink carnation has played a significant role in literature and poetry. This delicate flower has inspired writers and poets to create works of art that emphasize its beauty and symbolism. Here are some notable examples of the pink carnation in literature and poetry.

  • Oscar Wilde’s “A Woman of No Importance”: Wilde used the pink carnation as a symbol of the main character, Mrs. Arbuthnot’s, purity and innocence.
  • William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”: In this short story, Faulkner used the pink carnation to symbolize Miss Emily’s fragility and vulnerability.
  • Emily Dickinson’s “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass”: Dickinson referenced the pink carnation in this poem to symbolize the fleeting nature of life and beauty.

Additionally, the pink carnation has been a popular symbol in Victorian poetry and literature. During this era, the pink carnation was associated with love, admiration, and gratitude. Many poets wrote about the flower’s delicate beauty and used it as a metaphor for human emotions.

The pink carnation’s popularity in literature and poetry is due to its symbolic meaning and the delicate beauty it possesses. This flower continues to inspire writers and poets to this day, and we can expect to see its influence in future works of art.

Symbolic use of pink carnation in artworks

The pink carnation has been a popular subject in the world of art. Artists use this flower to convey different messages in their works, and it has many symbolic meanings. One example of the use of the pink carnation in art is through its color and the number of petals.

The number 7

Seven is a significant number both in numerology and spirituality. In the case of pink carnations, they are known to have seven petals in each flower. This number has been associated with various meanings like perfection, completeness, and the seven wonders of the world, to name a few.

  • The number seven has also been linked to the seven chakras, and some believe that the pink carnation can help balance them.
  • The seven stages of life are also related to this number, which includes infancy, childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, middle adulthood, late adulthood, and death. The pink carnation has been used in artworks to represent any one of these stages.
  • The seven colors of the rainbow have connections to the number seven. Therefore, some artists use the pink carnation in art to symbolize the different colors of the rainbow.
ArtistArtworkSymbolic use of pink carnation
Henri Fantin-LatourA Basket of Pink CarnationsThe seven stages of life and perfection
Pierre-Auguste RenoirLuncheon of the Boating PartyThe pink carnation is used to emphasize the femininity of the woman in the painting
Vincent Van GoghVase with Pink Roses and PoppiesThe pink carnation is used to represent the pink color of the flowers in the painting and to symbolize love and admiration

Overall, the use of the pink carnation in artworks is widespread, and its symbolic meaning varies depending on the artist’s intention and the context in which it is used. However, the number seven is a recurring theme, and it can represent different things such as perfection, completeness, and the different stages of life.

Pink Carnation in Events and Decorations

Pink carnations are not only a popular garden flower, but they have also become an important element in various events and decorations. The symbolism of these beautiful flowers carries significant meaning in weddings, Mother’s Day, and other festivities. Below are some of the ways pink carnations are used in events and decorations:

  • Weddings: Pink carnations symbolize love, affection, and gratitude making them a perfect choice for wedding décor. These flowers are mainly used in bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, and other floral arrangements. In addition to decorations, pink carnations are also used to congratulate the newlywed couple and wish them a long-lasting love.
  • Mother’s Day: In many countries, pink carnations are given to mothers on Mother’s Day as a way of expressing love and appreciation. The history of using pink carnations on Mother’s Day goes back to 1907 when Anna Jarvis requested that these flowers be used to honor the memory of her mother, who was a social activist and a community servant. Today, pink carnations have become synonymous with Mother’s Day.
  • Birthdays and Anniversaries: Pink carnations are also a great choice for birthday and anniversary celebrations. They are known to symbolize happiness, and since they come in different shades of pink, they can be used to convey various feelings such as admiration, gratitude, and joy.

Aside from their symbolic meaning, pink carnations are also used to add color and beauty to various events and decorations. They are versatile, affordable, and long-lasting, making them a popular choice among event planners and florists. In fact, pink carnations are often used alongside other flowers in floral arrangements, and they blend in perfectly with almost any color theme.

Moreover, the use of pink carnations in decorations has evolved over time, and today, there are countless ways to incorporate these flowers in events. From using them as table centerpieces to creating floral backdrops, pink carnations can make any event look stunning and memorable.

Meaning of the Number 8

The number 8 is significant in various cultures, and it also has a symbolic meaning when it comes to pink carnations. In Chinese culture, the number 8 is considered lucky because it sounds like the word for prosperity. In this sense, pink carnations that are arranged in clusters of eight are believed to represent good fortune and abundance.

Similarly, in Korea, the number 8 is associated with success, wealth, and longevity. Therefore, pink carnations in arrangements of eight can be a thoughtful gift for someone who is embarking on a new venture or celebrating a milestone anniversary.

Number of Pink CarnationsMeaning
1 Pink CarnationI love you
6 Pink CarnationsI want to be with you
8 Pink CarnationsProsperity, abundance, success, wealth, and longevity
12 Pink CarnationsI will never forget you
24 Pink CarnationsLet’s be together forever

Understanding the symbolism of pink carnations can help you choose the right bouquet or floral arrangement for your loved ones. Whether you want to express love, gratitude, or good fortune, pink carnations can convey your heartfelt message in a beautiful and meaningful way.

Pink Carnation as a Gift and its Significance

Giving flowers as a gift is a timeless tradition that has been practiced for centuries. However, not all flowers symbolize the same thing. Pink carnations, for instance, have a special meaning that you may not know about. Here, we will explore what pink carnations signify and why they make a great present for your loved ones.

  • Love: Pink carnations are a symbol of undying love and affection. If you want to express your love to someone special, giving them a bouquet of pink carnations is a perfect way to do it. Pink carnations are often given on Valentine’s Day or to signify a long-term commitment.
  • Gratitude: Pink carnations also symbolize gratitude and thankfulness. If someone has gone out of their way to help you, or you simply want to show appreciation for a kind gesture, giving them pink carnations is a great way to express your gratitude.
  • Mother’s Love: Pink carnations are also sometimes associated with motherly love. While white carnations are often used for Mother’s Day, pink carnations can be given to express the love and appreciation you have for your mother all year round.

It’s important to note that the number of pink carnations you give as a gift can also have significance. Here’s what different numbers of pink carnations symbolize:

Number of Pink CarnationsSymbolism
1Undying love
6I want to be yours
9Forever love
12Be mine
24Let’s be together

When you give someone a gift of pink carnations, you’re not just giving them a beautiful bouquet of flowers – you’re also expressing your feelings and emotions in a meaningful and symbolic way. So whether you’re expressing love, gratitude, or appreciation, think about giving pink carnations as a present next time.

Pink Carnation in Weddings and Bridal Bouquets

Pink carnations are a popular flower for weddings, and for good reason. Not only are they beautiful and delicate, but they also carry a significant meaning. Pink carnations symbolize gratitude, appreciation, and admiration, making them the perfect flower to express your love and appreciation on your special day.

  • One of the most popular ways to use pink carnations in weddings is in the bridal bouquet. Pink carnations can be used as the main flower or as an accent flower. They can also be paired with other flowers, such as roses, to create a stunning arrangement.
  • Another way to use pink carnations in weddings is as table centerpieces. Small arrangements of pink carnations can be placed on each table to add a touch of elegance and romance to the reception.
  • Pink carnations can also be used to decorate the ceremony space. They can be used to create a beautiful and romantic backdrop for the wedding ceremony.

If you’re looking for an additional way to incorporate pink carnations into your wedding, consider using them in your wedding favors. You can give your guests small pots of pink carnations to take home with them as a reminder of your special day.

Pink Carnation ColorsMeaning
Light PinkAdmiration, gratitude, joy
Deep PinkThankfulness, appreciation
Bright PinkLove, affection, romance

Using pink carnations in your wedding is a beautiful way to celebrate your love and create a romantic atmosphere. They are a symbol of gratitude and appreciation, making them the perfect flower to express your love and appreciation on your special day.

FAQs About What Does Pink Carnation Symbolize

1. What does the pink carnation represent?

Answer: Pink carnations represent a mother’s love, gratitude, and admiration.

2. What is the symbolism behind pink carnations?

Answer: Pink carnations are often associated with love, especially a mother’s love.

3. Is it appropriate to give pink carnations for Mother’s Day?

Answer: Yes, pink carnations are a popular choice for Mother’s Day because of their association with a mother’s love and gratitude.

4. What occasions are pink carnations suitable for?

Answer: Pink carnations are suitable for occasions such as Mother’s Day, weddings, birthdays, or to show admiration and appreciation to someone special.

5. Can pink carnations be given to someone other than a mother?

Answer: Yes, pink carnations can be given to anyone you want to show love, gratitude, or admiration.

6. What is the meaning of a pink carnation bouquet?

Answer: A pink carnation bouquet symbolizes a mother’s undying love and affection.

7. Can pink carnations be paired with other flowers?

Answer: Yes, pink carnations can be paired with other flowers, such as roses or lilies, to create a beautiful and meaningful bouquet.

Closing Thoughts on What Does Pink Carnation Symbolize

In conclusion, pink carnations are a symbol of a mother’s love, gratitude, and admiration. They are a perfect choice for Mother’s Day, weddings, birthdays, or simply to show appreciation to someone special in your life. A bouquet of pink carnations represents a mother’s undying love and affection, and they can be paired with other flowers to create a stunning masterpiece. Thank you for reading, and we hope you visit again to learn more about the symbolism of flowers.